Property taxes tend to be unpopular with Americans, but residents of several states have even more reason to grumble.
These nine states rank as carrying the highest property tax burdens for their residents out of all 50 U.S. states, according to a new study from WalletHub. Aside from the high tax bills, there’s another common theme: Many of these states are located in the Northeast.
The average American household spends $2,089 on property taxes annually, with WalletHub noting that even renters end up footing the bill, given that the taxes are incorporated into their monthly rents. Homebuyers should investigate property taxes before they make a commitment to living in a particular municipality, especially since some towns and counties levy real estate taxes as well as states, WalletHub noted. About $15 billion worth of homes are foreclosed on each year because of property tax delinquencies, according to the National Consumer Law Center.
Some states offer relief through the homestead exemption, although some offer only relief for a portion of property tax, such as for school taxes. Critics point out that property taxes tend to impact poor and middle-class families harder than wealthier households because they’re often regressive.
Property taxes are used by local governments to pay for schools, police and fire departments, local infrastructure, and other local amenities.
Read on to learn about the nine states with the heaviest property tax burdens.
9. Vermont: $2,934
Vermont households pay an average annual property tax of $2,934, according to WalletHub.
Property taxes have become a political hot button issue in the Green Mountain State, with many of the state’s 630,000 residents angered by rapidly rising real estate taxes.
Governor Peter Shumlin, after narrowly winning the November election as the incumbent, vowed to make property tax reform one of his goals in his current term.
Vermont League of Cities and Towns executive director Steve Jeffrey told the Burlington Free Press that property taxes “just seemed to blot out all other issues” in the November election. According to the group’s analysis, Vermont taxpayers saw their base residential education property tax rate rise 10 percent during the past two years, even though school enrollment in the state has been declining.
Read more: The 9 states with the highest property taxes